Pope Francis expected to be discharged from hospital soon

Pope Francis expected to be discharged from hospital soon

According to a Vatican source on Friday, Pope Francis spent a restful second night in the hospital receiving treatment for bronchitis. The 86-year-old pontiff was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Wednesday, and doctors have reported a “marked improvement” in his condition, indicating that he could be released “in the coming days.” Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, told the Adnkronos news agency on Friday that the pope could be discharged as early as Saturday. He expressed optimism that Francis would be able to preside over Holy Week and Easter services, which begin with this weekend’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

The pope’s hospitalization, just a few weeks after marking his 10th anniversary as the head of the Catholic Church, has sparked widespread concern and speculation about his future. As a young man, the Argentine had a part of one lung removed, and he has experienced increasing health issues in recent years. This is his second hospital stay since 2021. Francis has previously stated that he would consider stepping down if his health failed him, following the example of his predecessor Benedict XVI. However, in February, he stated that he had no plans to resign at this time.

Medical staff at the Gemelli hospital said on Thursday that the pope was suffering from an “infectious bronchitis which required the administration of antibiotics.” The treatment resulted in “a marked improvement in his state of health,” and the Vatican reports that he is feeling well enough to eat, pray, and work from his private suite on the hospital’s tenth floor. Pope Francis continues to travel internationally and keep a busy schedule, but he has been using a wheelchair and walking stick in the past year due to knee pain.

The pope expressed gratitude on Twitter for the many messages he has received while in the hospital, including one from US President Joe Biden, who tweeted, “Jill and I are keeping Pope Francis in our prayers and send our best wishes for his swift and full recovery. The world needs Pope Francis.” Francis was previously hospitalized in July 2021 for ten days at the same hospital for a colon operation after suffering from diverticulitis. In an interview in January, the pope stated that the diverticulitis had returned. While he has said that he would resign if he could not do his job, he has also emphasized that papal resignations should not be commonplace and that he currently has no plans to step down.

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